A tip you never see on videos for the noobs - use a chopsaw on those first electrodes
I had a kid want to learn how to stick weld, first time under the hood he stuck the stinger down got stuck pulled back jammed down almost everywhere except on the practice plate. I took his rods and cut them in half on the chopsaw, started him off with half rods, he was able to control them better, strike an arc easier,and make a straighter bead in a shorter time. Short electrodes help build confidence, accuracy, hold arc length easier than a longer waving electrode. Why this tip is not passed on to noobs is beyond me. People have to remember that the first time is always the hardest, every noob has difficulty learning to weld with both hands on the stinger, they look at you sometimes, like if I was supposed to use both hands to keep it steady, why doesn't it have handle bars like a bicycle.